Huskies lose first road game of season


Senior wide receiver Christian Blake makes a catch on his way to a touchdown in the Huskies’ 34-28 loss at San Diego State Sept. 30. Blake was named Mid-American Conference player of the week Monday.     

By Ryan Ostry

The NIU football team dropped their first road game of a season Saturday to the No. 19 ranked San Diego State Aztecs with a score of 34-28.

On a day where the Huskies beat the Aztecs 429-263 in total yards, they also turned the ball over four times, three of those coming off of interceptions from redshirt sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina.

“It’s hard to go on the road and win a game when you turn it over four times, and that’s pretty much where it starts and ends,” said Head Coach Rod Carey, according to NIU Media Services. “[If you have] four turnovers in a road game or a home game, you’re not [going to] win. We feel like we lost that one more than they beat us.”

The Huskies defense was stable throughout the game as they held one of the nation’s best running offenses to 127 yards total.

“I thought the defense played really well and gave our offense a chance to win,” said Carey, according to NIU Media Services. “Overall, though, they share in the loss just like the offense, special teams. This is a learning moment, individual performances are great, but we have to own [the loss] together.”

Sophomore running back Juwan Washington kicked off the game with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which gave the Aztecs a quick 7-0 lead.

The Huskies retaliated quickly, however, as Santacaterina connected with senior wide receiver Christian Blake for a 34-yard touchdown catch.

The Aztecs would answer the Huskies shortly after as senior running back Rashaad Penny caught a 33-yard pass from junior quarterback Christian Chapman.

Santacaterina later hooked up Blake for a 10-yard touchdown catch to tie up the game at 14-14 to end the first quarter.

The second quarter was all Aztecs as they scored on a 83-yard interception return, a 10-yard pass and catch and a 38-yard field goal, giving them a 31-14 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, NIU came back with some life as Spencer Tears, redshirt sophomore wide receiver, finished an 82-yard drive with a touchdown catch.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers would then give the Huskies another score as he ran in a sneak for one yard putting the Huskies only down by three points.

That would be the last time NIU scored as Aztecs junior kicker John Baron II put the game out of reach with a 21-yard field goal.

The Huskies outscored the Aztecs 14-3 in the second half.

NIU will return home and start Mid-American Conference play where they will take on the Kent State University Golden Flashes 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Huskie Stadium.